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Thread: The LED Flashlight scene has passed me by, I need advice!

  1. #1

    Default The LED Flashlight scene has passed me by, I need advice!

    Long story short, I really got into this forum and all things LED flashlights in the 2008-2010 timeframe. I probably bought 5-6 pretty expensive flashlights during that time, along with a few headlamps.

    Fast forward 10-12 years later, I need new flashlights, and I still remembered this forum and all of the enthusiasts and experts herein.

    I currently have three flashlights, all of which I found were in less than stellar working condition when I took them with me to a beach vacation last week. When I attempted to use them at night to hunt for crabs, all three of them sucked, either not working at all, working only shortly, and modes were all messed up.

    I currently have:
    *Fenix TK40 - This was pretty expensive from what I can remember, and is run off of 8 AA batteries. Remember purchasing this one because it had a lot of throw and a high lumens count (for the time). Definitely want to get a larger high lumens replacement using 2020 technology. Figuring I will have to ditch the AA batteries for 18650ís or whatever else they are using these days to power these up.

    *Fenix LD 20 - This is powered by 2 AA batteries, which was a selling point for me (as all my flashlights ran off of AA, which I thought was good as all my lights were standardized and ran off of a ubiquitous battery). Looking for a replacement here as well, something that is more compact, but packs a lot of punch.

    *Fenix LD 10 - Same flashlight as the LD20, just half as a long as it runs off a single AA battery. This thing still puts off a lot of light for such a small flashlight, and is the only one still working good. However, would like to get a modern day replacement on this one as well.

    Here is where I need updated information and help from you guys. I have no idea what brand names are still good these days, so Iím hoping I can get 3-4 brands that are generally recognized around here as being legitimately good. Secondarily, I have no idea where to purchase them. Assuming there must be a few online stores that specialized in LED flashlights, I just donít know what they are, and would appreciate any call outs or links to them.

    Appreciate everyoneís help and insight!

  2. #2

    Default Re: The LED Flashlight scene has passed me by, I need advice!

    Do you have a charger for 18650's or do you want built in charging? If you are OK with removing batteries to charge them, there are a lot more options available, but there are options with built in charging also.

    Right angle lights are popular as they can double as a headlamp and with a magnetic base are a little more useful for hands free use. Do you have any interest in a right angle light? What is your budget? Flooder or thrower?

    An entry level 18650 light with built in charging is the Wurkkos FC11. Uses the Samsung HD 351 led with a 90 CRI. Decent UI with stepped and ramping modes.

    A good key chain light with built in charging but non replaceable battery is the Nitecore Tiki. This light will seriously out perform the latter 2 of your lights mentioned but is the same size as a AA battery. Has an ultraviolet sidelight also.

    Most of these lights will burn a hole in your pocket if you accidentally turn them on. The UI can be intimidating to some but is pretty incredible if you take the time to learn it. When they say for experienced user only, they mean it.
    Last edited by scout24; 08-11-2020 at 05:52 AM.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic Katherine Alicia's Avatar
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    Default Re: The LED Flashlight scene has passed me by, I need advice!

    I`m not sure about the thrower but the Convoy C8 is pretty good for the price, for the double A it would have to be the Thrunite Archer 2A V3, and for the single AA I`d pick the Lumintop AA Tool.

    but there`s tons of other choices too that are good, as you`ll see when this thread develops

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The LED Flashlight scene has passed me by, I need advice!

    sunsethiker- I edited a commercial link out of your post. Please familiarixe yourself with CPF's policies and procedures. Thanks in advance.
    The TK20. Yes, it still rocks- WoodsWalker

  5. #5

    Default Re: The LED Flashlight scene has passed me by, I need advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by sunsethiker View Post
    Do you have a charger for 18650's or do you want built in charging? If you are OK with removing batteries to charge them, there are a lot more options available, but there are options with built in charging also.

    Right angle lights are popular as they can double as a headlamp and with a magnetic base are a little more useful for hands free use. Do you have any interest in a right angle light? What is your budget? Flooder or thrower?

    An entry level 18650 light with built in charging is the Wurkkos FC11. Uses the Samsung HD 351 led with a 90 CRI. Decent UI with stepped and ramping modes.

    A good key chain light with built in charging but non replaceable battery is the Nitecore Tiki. This light will seriously out perform the latter 2 of your lights mentioned but is the same size as a AA battery. Has an ultraviolet sidelight also.

    Most of these lights will burn a hole in your pocket if you accidentally turn them on. The UI can be intimidating to some but is pretty incredible if you take the time to learn it. When they say for experienced user only, they mean it.
    As noted isnít he subject line, the technology associated with todayís modern flashlights have indeed passed me by. Iíve done some very cursory searching over the past 24 hours, and Iím seeing a lot of USB 3.0 charging, so Iím assuming the industry is headed towards the iPhone model, non-removable rechargeable batteries? Call me old school, but I would much prefer to buy look at models that take replaceable 18650 batteries that I can buy separately and charge on my own.

    As far as budget goes, I donít have one. Not meaning to sound haughty or anything, itís just that I need maybe 2-3 flashlights, that I wonít buy all at once, so Iím looking to get the very best of what Iím looking for, donít care about the cost. I say that because I suspect I will keep these newly purchased flashlights for another 10-12 years, so the total cost of ownership as it were should be low regardless.

    Burning a hole in your pocket, yikes! That said, Iím confident I can learn to use them. Iím not a big EDC carry type of guys, so Iím really looking for just two flashlights at this point:

    1) Looking for a big mama bear thrower with lots of power. Something that will light up the area (and then some) if Iím out camping, in the wilderness late at night, etc. That said, I also donít want it to the the size of a small baseball bat either. Looking at something around the size (or preferably a little smaller) than my current Fenix TK40, which is pretty big.

    2) Looking for something a lot more compact that also still packs a lot of power, which Iím very hopeful exists given there has been a decade of technology improvements since Iíve last been in the market. Not looking to necessarily carry it in my pocket, but thatís about the size I would want it to be. Use case will be one to keep in my car should I ever need one, and the other would be to use in normal flashlight use situations, but be a much smaller alternative to the larger flashlight I plan on purchasing.

    In both cases (big and smaller flashlights), Iím thinking having them both powered by 18650 batteries as I think those are still one of the most powerful batteries on the market, and I like having the same batteries used across my flashlights.

    I think forum rules prohibit actual posting of links, so at this point, any specific brand and model recommendations that meet the above noted requirements would be greatly appreciated, and then I can just search by the models from there and find out who sells them.

    Thanks for everyoneís replies!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The LED Flashlight scene has passed me by, I need advice!

    Those three are classics. I own LD20 since 2008 and it is still working flawlessly.
    Maybe you want to give a good clean to the threads and contacts, get some new batteries, they might work perfectly again.

  7. #7

    Default Re: The LED Flashlight scene has passed me by, I need advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by cp2315 View Post
    Those three are classics. I own LD20 since 2008 and it is still working flawlessly.
    Maybe you want to give a good clean to the threads and contacts, get some new batteries, they might work perfectly again.

    Yes. Start with this first. All of my old flashlights work just fine. The big differences from then to today, other than USB rechargeable models, is the amount of lumens in smaller packages. My old and out of production Night-Ops Gladius works perfectly 10-15 years later, it's just that it's 80 lumens. I mostly use rechargeable Ni-MH Eneloop batteries in my lights as opposed to buying USB lights. I bought a Fenix PD36r recently but returned it as it was difficult for me to operate as a defensive tool (front button modes). Plus, on high, it got really hot too soon IMO.

  8. #8

    Default Re: The LED Flashlight scene has passed me by, I need advice!

    How much of a thrower? A true dedicated thrower, or something with a balance of flood, and throw? As was mentioned above, the Convoy C8 is one.. so are some from the Fenix TK series if you want to keep the same brand. Just upgraded from a AA Mini Mag as my primary light. It's a little hard at first with 18650's here, 21700's there, then the emitter choices but.. it does become fun afterwards.

  9. #9

    Default Re: The LED Flashlight scene has passed me by, I need advice!

    My original post was edited so the comment about burning a hole in pocket is not in context. There is a manufacture of lights, Emisar and Noctigon, that are designed for maximum output of light. They will burn a hole in your pocket. The lights are affordable and works of art. They come with a firmware called Anduril that can be intimidating but really not that hard to use, the basic functions are quite easy and natural. The website does say for experienced user only, and they mean it.

    Start with an 18650 light and see if you want something with different features ie more throw, different color of light (kelvin), bigger or smaller light.

  10. #10
    Johnnyh's Avatar
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    Default Re: The LED Flashlight scene has passed me by, I need advice!

    Get a Malkoff...ultimate reliability...simple operation...made in USA. Those mega-lumens pocket rocket leg burners are great for blasting out light for a few seconds but canít sustain that output without scorching your hand. The best part about the Malkoff...if something should go wrong (unlikely) youíll be taken care of ASAP. He has flooders, throwers and in-between. Pocket friendly AA up to twin 18650 searchers. The Malkoffs are also great about answering any questions you may have.
    I only fear that if something happens to me, my wife will sell all my stuff for what I told her I paid for it.

  11. #11

    Default Re: The LED Flashlight scene has passed me by, I need advice!

    I also had the TK40 and LD20. A Zebralight SC700d replaced the TK40. It's an inch shorter, a quarter inch smaller lens/reflector, and 3/8 inch slimmer battery tube. It is 3,000 lumens vs. the TK's 800. Uses a 21700 battery, the largest typical LiIon currently. It has an incredible user interface, and you can program three global modes. You click the on/off button 5 times for 'stock' mode, 6 times for the '6' mode, and 7 times for the 7 mode. I have my '6' mode set to the lowest 6 lumen choices (out of 12 possible). My '7' mode has the highest 6 lumen choices. In any of those three modes, you click and hold to cycle through 3 choices - whatever you programmed from the total 12 levels. So you can have a low/med/high. In the current, active lumen level (let's say you are in 'low'), a quick double-click gives you a second lumen level. So you have immediate access to 6 different lumen levels. You can have superb logarithmic spacing from a lumen level of 0.04 (8 MONTHS of continuous ON) to 3,000 lumens (3 minutes then drops to 1,500 lumens for heat control).

    The LD20 I replaced with Zebralight SC52 (it's now a 53, I think). Runs 55 minutes at 300 lumens on a single AA, 2,200 hours at 0.01 lumens.

    I also have a selection of Olight, UltraTak, Lumintop, 4Sevens in other battery types.

    PM me if you need more info.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic greenpondmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: The LED Flashlight scene has passed me by, I need advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by cp2315 View Post
    Those three are classics. I own LD20 since 2008 and it is still working flawlessly.
    Maybe you want to give a good clean to the threads and contacts, get some new batteries, they might work perfectly again.
    I agree with cp2315, but if you're going to throw them away anyhow please let me know so I can collect the garbage.
    Last edited by greenpondmike; 08-11-2020 at 04:20 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: The LED Flashlight scene has passed me by, I need advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by brig2221 View Post
    Long story short, I really got into this forum and all things LED flashlights in the 2008-2010 timeframe. I probably bought 5-6 pretty expensive flashlights during that time, along with a few headlamps.

    Fast forward 10-12 years later, I need new flashlights, and I still remembered this forum and all of the enthusiasts and experts herein.

    I currently have three flashlights, all of which I found were in less than stellar working condition when I took them with me to a beach vacation last week. When I attempted to use them at night to hunt for crabs, all three of them sucked, either not working at all, working only shortly, and modes were all messed up.

    I currently have:
    *Fenix TK40 - This was pretty expensive from what I can remember, and is run off of 8 AA batteries. Remember purchasing this one because it had a lot of throw and a high lumens count (for the time). Definitely want to get a larger high lumens replacement using 2020 technology. Figuring I will have to ditch the AA batteries for 18650ís or whatever else they are using these days to power these up.

    *Fenix LD 20 - This is powered by 2 AA batteries, which was a selling point for me (as all my flashlights ran off of AA, which I thought was good as all my lights were standardized and ran off of a ubiquitous battery). Looking for a replacement here as well, something that is more compact, but packs a lot of punch.

    *Fenix LD 10 - Same flashlight as the LD20, just half as a long as it runs off a single AA battery. This thing still puts off a lot of light for such a small flashlight, and is the only one still working good. However, would like to get a modern day replacement on this one as well.

    Here is where I need updated information and help from you guys. I have no idea what brand names are still good these days, so Iím hoping I can get 3-4 brands that are generally recognized around here as being legitimately good. Secondarily, I have no idea where to purchase them. Assuming there must be a few online stores that specialized in LED flashlights, I just donít know what they are, and would appreciate any call outs or links to them.

    Appreciate everyoneís help and insight!

    Hmmm...if you really want AA powered lights the only two I can recommend would be an Olight i5T or a Klarus XT1A 2018 version. Either one can use standard AA cells or 14500 Li-Ion cells but the Olight specifically says NOT to. The Olight has two outputs and the Klarus has four. The Klarus has a dual tail switch design while the Olight is a single switch and toggles between the two outputs. They both emit about 300 lumens on a standard NiMH cell. The Klarus is designed to reach 1000 lumens on a 14500. I'd say the Olight hits around 600 or so with the 14500. The Olight has a nice flood beam thanks to it's TIR lens, the Klarus is a bit tighter because of a smooth conventional reflector.

  14. #14
    Enlightened Jean-Luc Descarte's Avatar
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    Default Re: The LED Flashlight scene has passed me by, I need advice!

    Whatever you choose to do, pick up at least one Convoy. HIGHLY recommended. The C8 that Kath mentioned is a great thrower especially for the price, the S2+ is all but universally loved, and the M1 and M2 fit the "P60 host" role and can be set up for flood, throw or a middle ground.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic greenpondmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: The LED Flashlight scene has passed me by, I need advice!

    You probably don't want to hear this, but maglite has some good LED lights nowadays although they were running way behind in LED technology back when you bought those other lights. Their rechargeable ML150LR and ML300L 4D are some strong contenders and I even like their smaller lights. Made in America and with adjustable focus.
    Last edited by greenpondmike; 08-15-2020 at 08:13 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: The LED Flashlight scene has passed me by, I need advice!

    Malkoff

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